INDIANAPOLIS — Most teachers say they have witnessed a student physically assault a teacher or school staffer, according to a teacher survey compiled by Call 6 Investigates.
Call 6 Investigates received more than 218 responses to the survey, which included responses from both new and veteran teachers, as well as educators in elementary, middle and high school.
44% responded they have been personally injured on the job, and of those that were injured, 39% said the injury was caused by a student.
Here are some of their explanations as to what happened:
- “I was shot in the back by a bb gun, by a student.”
- “Bitten, hit with a chair, head butted”
- “I’ve been choked with my lanyard. Spat on. Had throngs thrown at me. My hair has been pulled. I was urinated on by a student.”
- “Broke up a fight and hurt my knee. I have been punched, kicked and spit on.”
- “Bit, kicked in the shin, shoved in the back, punched in the stomach”
- “I have been pushed, kicked, and hit by different students at different times”
- “A student tried to fight another student, I intervened and got slammed on top of the desks.
- “Broken foot chasing out of control student
64% of teachers said they have witnessed a student assaulting a teacher or staff member.
72% of Indiana teachers told RTV6 they have seriously considered leaving the profession.
90% of respondents said they think schools or the legislature should do more to address teachers’ personal safety.
We asked teachers what is the biggest problem facing teachers in Indiana.
25% said pressure surrounding standardized tests, while 24% said student behavior and 17% said compensation was their top concern.
Other concerns include class size and lack of support from administration.
Here’s some of the other responses teachers told us:
- “All of the above, compounded by poverty and instability. Mobility is unreal. Parents struggle to give basic care: clean clothes and children, sleep, food, homework, attendance, shelter. School system is dependent upon teachers donating time, money, books, and supplies. Not self-sustaining by design.”
- “Lack of parental support. Parents are no longer teaching their children how to be empathetic and how to interact in a social environment. On top of this, many parents do not provide strict enough consequences for their children when rules are broken.”
- “Teachers are faced with increased demand across the board. Teachers do not have enough time or funding to appropriately teach students. Everything suffers because of this. Teachers are miracle workers who foster the solutions of tomorrow's problems while meeting every need of the child. Then they are questioned, tested, drilled, and told that they aren't doing enough. Most teachers with families can't even afford health insurance for their own families because it costs so much. Yet we can't take a sick day without writing a chapter book of sub plans.”
- “The whole system is broken. We need year round school. No more summers off. Two teachers per classroom working in tandem to allow the two educators the ability to customize the curriculum and personal time off for both teachers without needing a substitute teacher. As well, a full time teacher aide to assist the “team”. This IS the solution.”